Beaten Linette says semi-final run reward for years of sacrifice

MELBOURNE, Jan 27 (Reuters) - Unseeded Pole Magda Linette said she is on a "good track" despite being beaten 7-6(1) 6-2 by Aryna Sabalenka in the Australian Open semi-finals on Thursday, adding that her run at Melbourne Park was reward for years of sacrifices.

Linette was playing in her first Grand Slam semi-final after earning a 6-3 7-5 quarter-final win over former world number one Karolina Pliskova. She had never made it past the third round of a major before.

When asked what she would change about her performance in the defeat, the 30-year-old told reporters: "Not too much.

"Really, it's like a point here and point there. That's what we actually already spoke a little bit with my coach is that it's so nice that we actually said, 'Maybe on this point I could have done this a little bit different'.

"That means we are really on a good track, like we have a really good structure of what I'm going to do on the court. That's somewhere you want to be as a tennis player. We are really happy it's working and it's just the beginning.

"But it's really been so rewarding for all the hard work that we've done, for all the sacrifices, all these years on tour, so many Grand Slams."

Sabalenka will face Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina in the final on Saturday.

Reporting by Aadi Nair in Nashik, India Editing by Toby Davis

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